Channel 4 SuperShoppers

Big is beautiful.

But not always.

Once upon a time being seen as big was beautiful but that’s not necessarily a mantra that some corporations have now adopted when it comes to packaging anything from baked beans to crisps to the humble teabag.

Why? Well, because, small is credible, small is lovingly made, small is bespoke, small is quality and small can definitely attract a bigger price.

Small, local, artisanal, handmade – whatever adjective you care to name, if a brand conjures up images of a little local producer, beavering away in their tiny workshop, farm or kitchen then it can have big corporates positively falling over themselves trying to steal or acquire a piece of that “artisanal” action.

So if the packaging suggests that your salad leaves were grown and hand-picked by a man called Steve or your yoghurt was personally made by Rachel then maybe they were. Or maybe they weren’t. Maybe somewhere behind Steve and Rachel lurks a large, mass-producing multi-national hoping that the consumer will happily fork out a few extra pennies in the belief that they are really paying for Rachel and Steve’s personal handiwork?

These were just some of the things that Channel 4’s brilliant SuperShoppers recently covered. We were fortunately invited to join them to discuss some of the finer points of artisanal packaging styles and approaches and we also got the chance to design some funky baked bean packs to try out on an unsuspecting public. But how much will people happily pay for funkily designed beans? We hope you caught the show: the results were pretty alarming!